Saturday, July 13, 2013

Family Ties....Untied (?)

As I've mentioned previously in this blog, I come from a big family and sizable group of friends with whom I spend a considerable amount of time. We've had wonderful times together and made great memories, whether it's in celebration of a holiday, birthday, milestone, achievement or 'just because.' We just love to be together. However, it's all coming to a bittersweet crossroad. Sweet, because it involves major change, new places, people, things and experiences; Bitter, because it involves major change, loss of fellowship (as we've known it for forever), physical closeness & proximity and a shaking up of stability & security. As very close siblings/relatives/friends, my group (affectionately known as Angelz & Co.) does almost everything together. We're always at each other's homes, in each other's cars, shopping together, eating together, drinking together, crying, laughing and fighting together. We do almost everything together. Not always as the entire group, but at least 2 of us are together on any given day. That is about to a major way...and it ain't gonna be easy for any of us.

My sister (who I'll refer to, from now on, as 'QB') and I are planning to move out of state in the very near future, to 2 separate states. She and I are the eldest of the crew and are the leaders, for the most part. If any of our siblings or friends need (to know) or want (to do) something, more than likely, they will consult with me or QB....and more than likely, QB or I will (help) work it out/make it happen. For instance, if someone wants to have a party for themselves, their child, friend/relative, they will probably call me. They will expect for me to pull details together and make sure things get done properly. For family gatherings, such as holidays, summer BBQ's, etc., they will likely call on QB....and she will pull it together. There's a sister or sf we call on for hairdos, a sister we call on to borrow money from, a sister we call on for fashion advice/assistance, a sister we call on for babysitting or emergency pickups/dropoffs, a sister we call on for conflict backup....there's a sister or sf to call on for just about everything. To not have that is going to be a major shock to each of our systems and is going to be a major adjustment to adapt to.

Granted, there will still be 4 sisters (and one brother, who does his own thing outside of us, most of the time) living in our hometown but it's just not going to be the same. I may be giving myself and QB too much credit but I'm afraid that our siblings are not going to keep our 'Angelhood' alive. I'm afraid for that, because they usually rely on one of their big sisters to initiate family gatherings and group activities. I'm afraid for that because they get easily upset, annoyed, frustrated and their 'idgaf' (I don't give a f*^k) switch gets turned on too easily. I'm afraid for that because I won't be around to 'save the day.' However, in recent months, we each have gotten better with communicating and relating to each other, so I will pray on it. I will pray and I will have faith that my siblings will not let the 'Angelhood' crumble; that they will, in fact, stand better. I pray that, with these major changes that are about to occur in our lives, the ties that have bound us together for so long, will not come undone; that they will be lengthened and strengthened so that they will hold us together even closer.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013


This is an excerpt from my short-lived Facebook mini-blog, The Musings of a G’va: documenting & discussing the ups & downs, ins & outs and rounds & rounds of becoming a 'premature' grandmother, written on June 29, 2010

I just came from my daughter’s first prenatal doctor appointment and my belly is so abuzz with excitement that I can’t finish my lunch (and believe me, I was HUNGRY since before we got to the appointment). All day, I was looking forward to the appointment (after getting a last minute ‘welcoming to accompany’ from her last night) but I can't say I was excited about it. I was more curious to know how far along she was and when I could expect my life to change indefinitely and immeasurably.

When I first heard my daughter was pregnant, I was on fire! ‘Why would she do something so stupid, so careless, so irresponsible, so disappointing?!’ Why would she do this to herself?! Why would she do this to meeeeeeeeeee?!’ I heard the  news from someone else and didn’t want to ask my daughter for fear of the confirmation but, I knew I’d have to face it sooner or later. I preferred sooner. So I asked. She denied it but I knew she was lying. Ultimately, she confessed and my fate had been sealed. I had my moments of inner rage but was eventually able to make peace with the fact that I was going to become a grandmother before my 40th birthday. In doing so, I had to reflect back on my own experience.........

I remembered how it felt when I was ‘lost in love’ and became pregnant with my daughter; nobody could tell me a damn thing. My mother was greatly disappointed in me, being pregnant with a child at the age of 16 with 2 years of high school left to complete, but she never made me feel bad about it. She was there for me, every step of the way. So, I decided I would be my daughter’s ‘soft place to fall.’ She is, after all, almost 20 years old with two years of college under her belt. Who am I to put her down or make her feel ‘less than.’ At the same time, I didn’t want to appear to be too happy about the situation because, well.....I wasn’t. I wanted more for my child. My expectations were different. But she can’t live her life for me and I can’t live her life for her. So, I decided to be supportive and understanding, because, after all, this mother’s love is unconditional. But that was it; understanding and supportive was all I planned to be. Nothing more, nothing less. Until I sat in the chair next to my daughter’s bedside and watched the ultrasound technician do her thing………….

'Nurse Nancy' applied the gel to the ultrasound probe, adjusted my daughter’s clothing and placed the probe onto my daughter’s belly. After just a few seconds, I saw the clear ultrasound image of my grandbaby on the monitor, and I felt something change inside of me. I wanted to clap my hands and shout out with glee. But, I did neither.I kept my composure and stayed in my seat, but I smiled harder than I’ve smiled in a long time. My heart smiled too. I watched my daughter as she saw the image of her baby and I could see her ‘mother light’ flicker on. Her face brightened, her eyes lit up and she let out a little chuckle. Right then, I knew, everything would be okay and I was glad my daughter allowed me to share that special moment with her.